Hoagland's an old man reflecting on life and society. He's quite analytical and intellectual, but there are more than a few times that he slips into what seems to me to be knee-jerk old geezer territory. He routinely bemoans the fact that the Internet is keeping us from communicating authentically, and that cyberspace insulates us from understanding real Nature. I tend to disagree with these conclusions, but he does reason his way into them with conviction.His paeans to his early days, roaming the face of the earth and being seduced by the glories of Nature, are sheer delight. His trips to third world countries are wrenching and interesting. His meditations on age and the Divine, on dying and humus, on global extinctions and personal ones, approach the transcendent. Since it's a collection of essays written over time but herein gathered, there's a fair bit of repetition that maybe could have been edited out. I only needed to read the bit about George Orwell saying that every man has the face he deserves by 50 once or maybe twice. Not every other essay. His essays reflecting on his wives and his travels are less wonderful to my eyes than the others. And the one about circus people is just... weird.Quibbles aside, it's well worth reading.